Pronunciation and Phonetics

Learning proper pronunciation can be done without much knowledge of phonetics, actually. A basic knowledge, however, helps to make pronunciation clearer and thus facilitates the process of learning how to speak a foreign language properly.

eAmbalam introduces a phonetic chart which is based on Dhevanagari script. The sounds of vowels and consonants and other speech sounds in Sanskrit and the languages which have completely or mostly borrowed from it can be covered with the help of the chart. A few other sounds common to some languages in this group and outside are also put in. Unique sounds of some languages are specified too.

Diacritical marks are used to aid perfect pronunciation. World over, these marks have been created and propagated by scholars to make understanding of the differences in speech sounds in different languages better. Team eAmbalam also has created a phonetic chart which helps even first timers to pronounce words accurately.

Our Phonetic chart is unique, comprehensive, learner friendly and is divided into four columns wherein:
  • In the first column, the letter is written with the associated diacritical mark.
  • In the second column, an example is given in Dhevanagari language containing the letter.
  • In the third column, an example is given in English, which contains the sound closes to the letter or instructions in few cases, to facilitate better understanding.
  • In the fourth column, an audio button is placed with the help of which you can hear the actual pronunciation of the letter.
An open minded approach with the above introduction and guidelines will definitely enable the user to understand the speech sounds of any language and pronounce it like a native, which is eAmbalam’s aim in this exercise.

Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English
A or a Aḍavu Arise
Ā or ā Ānanda Vast
I or i Indhira Sing
Ī or ī Īśha Meal
U or u U ṣhā Good
Ū or ū Ū rdhhva Boost
R or r Riṣh i Try
Ṛ or ṛ Ni ṛ uti Grr!
Lr or lr   Pronounce L and R together.
E or e Eka Ate
AI or ai Aikya Sight
O or o Ojas Robe
AU or au Audh ā rya Now
A M or am Śhiva m Drum
A HA or aha R ā ma ha Aha!
Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English

Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English
KA or ka Kavi Car
KHA or kha Khalu Mark -Him
GA or ga Gamana Gut
GHA or gha Ghata Ugh!
Ṅ A or ṅa Tura ṅ ga Ring
CHA or ca Chakra Chart
CHHA or cha Chhandas Branch
JA or ja Jagath Jug
JHA or jha Jhallari Fudge
NYA or nya Gnyana Knew
Ṭ A or ṭ Ṭ anka Top
ṬHA or ṭha Pāṭha Pothole
ḌA or da Ḍ amaruka Dog
Ḍ HA or ḍ ha Mūḍ ha Madhouse
Ṇ A or ṇ a Ga ṇ a Wander
THA or tha Thanu Health
THHA or thha Athha Theater
DHA or dha Dha śha This
DHHA or dhha Dhhana m Dha with an additional H sound
NA or na Namask ā raha Nut
PA or pa   Path ā ka Past
PHA or pha Phala m P with a H sound
BA or ba Bandhhu Ball
BHA or bha Bhadra Abhor
MA or ma Manas Money
YA or ya Yama Yummy
RA or ra Rajas Rub
LA or la Lath ā Lust
VA or WA, va /wa A śh va or A śhwa Water/Valour
ŚHA or śha Śhakthi Shutter
ṢHA or ṣ ha Ṣh a ṇ mukha Shunt
SA or sa Sarasvatī Sun
HA or ha Hari Hum
Ḷ A or ḷ a Ar āḷ a Bold
KṢHA or k ṣ ha Ak ṣh i Try to pronounce Ka, Sa & Ha – all at one time.
Extra Vowels in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada & Malayalam Scripts    
É or é Éṇi Angel
Ō or ō Ō m Ō M
ZHA Exclusive to Tamil & Malayalam Fold the tip of your tongue backwards and try to pronounce it with the aid of the audio button.
Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English


Name of the Temple

  • Thirupathi Temple


  • Thirupathi in Chitthūr district of Andhra Pradesh
How to reach there?
  • By Air : The nearest airport is Thirupathi Réṇigunṭa Airport, 40 km away. From the airport take the National Highway 71 west.
  • By Train : Thirupathi Main Railway Station is 22 km away from Thirupathi temple. From the railway station go north and then west on Thirumala Road.
  • By Road : Thirupathi is linked with all important cities through the National Highway 71 from Jalandhar to Bawal, 716 from Ananthpur to Chennai and 18A from Puthalapaṭṭu to Thirupathi and the State Highway 61 from Poṭṭa to Mūnupīḍika.

Rulers/builders and Time Period

  • The Pallavas of Kānchipuram (9th century AD), the Cholas of Tanjore (10th century), and Vijayanagara pradhāns (14th and 15th centuries) were committed devotees of Lord Venkateśhwara.
  • During the invasion of Śhrīraṅgam by Mālik Kāfūr in 1310-11 AD, the Raṅga Manṭapam of the temple served as the shelter for the presiding deity of Śhrīraṅgam, Śhrī Raṅganātha Swāmi.
  • Later, under the rule of the Vijayanagara emperors, was when the temple gained most of its current wealth and size, with the donation of diamonds and gold.In 1517, the Vijayanagara ruler Kriṣhṇa Dheva Rāya, on one of his many visits to the temple, donated gold and jewels, enabling the Vimāna (inner shrine) roofing to be gilded. Statues of Kriṣhṇa Dheva Rāya and his spouse stand in the premises of the temple.
  • After the decline of Vijayanagara Empire, kings from states such as Mysore and Gadhwāl worshiped as pilgrims and gave ornaments and valuables to the temple.
  • Marāṭha general Raghoji I Bhonsle (died 1755) visited the temple and set up a permanent administration for the conduct of worship in the temple.
  • There is an idol of Rāja Thoḍar Mal who was the revenue minister of Akbar, greeting pilgrims in the premises of the temple.


  • Śhrī Venkateśhwara alias Bālāji

Architecture Style

  • This ancient temple is supposed to have been standing since ages. Comprising of 'Gopuram' (tower), the temple is a fine example of the Dhravidian style of architecture.
  • There is a gilded cupola (Vimāna) by the mane of “Ānandha Nilayam" over the main shrine.
  • The shrine comprises three enclosures, which are also known as 'Prakārams'. The outmost enclosure comprises the 'Dhvajasthambha' (banner post) and the other enclosures have many statues.
  • The striking idol of Śhrī Venkateśhwara lies in the main sanctum sanctorum of the temple.

Other Special Features

  • The vimānam is a monumental tower with a golden roof. Its inner temple or vimānam houses the main deity, Lord Śhrī Venkateśhwara.
  • The deity stands directly beneath a gilt dome called the Ānandha Nilaya Dhivya Vimāna. The Ānanda Nilaya Dhivya Vimāna was covered with gilt copper plates and surmounted with a golden vase in the 13th century, during the reign of the Vijayanagara king Yādhava Rāya.
  • This exquisitely wrought deity, called the Mūlaberam, is believed to be self-manifested, and no human being is known to have installed it in the shrine.
  • The Lord has a thick double thilaka drawn on his forehead, which screens his eyes. His ears are decorated with golden earrings The Lord wears a gold crown with a large emerald embedded in the front. On special occasions, he is adorned with a diamond crown.
  • His right hand is raised in a fist, which is decorated with a gem-set chakra; the left fist contains a Śhankha (conch shell). The front right hand has its fingers pointing to his feet. His front left hand is akimbo. His body is dressed with yellow clothing tied with gold string and a gold belt with gold bells.
  • He has a yajgnynopavitha (sacred thread) flowing down crosswise from his left shoulder. He bears Śhrī Lakṣhmi Dhevi on his right chest and Śhrī Padmāvathi Dhevi on his left chest. His feet are covered with gold frames and decked with gold anklets.
  • A curved gold belt encompasses his legs.

Any Other/Remarks

  • Till date, the lavish temple follows complex rituals and sermons of worship that were prescribed by Rāmānuja Āchārya in the 12th century. Every day, the program begins with 'Suprabhātham', which encompasses awakening of the Lord at 3'O clock in the morning.
  • 'Ekāntha Seva' is the last program, in which, the Lord is made to sleep at 1'O clock in the night. As per the day and period, different 'sevas' (services) and 'uthsavams' (festivals) are held in the shrine of the Lord. 'Hunḍi' is a donation box and this is the main source of temple's income.
  • Devotees offer donations as per their desire in these boxes that are kept at intervals in the temple. For the ease of the pilgrims, different 'darśhans' including 'Sarvadarśhan', 'Special Darśhan' and 'Sudarśhanam' are prearranged.

Special References including those of Performing Arts

  • Śhrī Venkaṭāchala Mahāthmya is referred to in several Purāṇas, of which the most important are the Varāha Purāṇa and the Bhaviṣhyotthara Purāṇa. The printed work contains extracts from the Varāha Purāṇa, Padhma Purāṇa, Garuḍa Purāṇa, Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa, Markanḍeya Purāṇa, Harivamśa, Vamana Purāṇa, Brahma Purāṇa, Brahmotthara Purāṇa, Ādithya Purāṇa, Skandha Purāṇa and Bhaviṣhyotthara Purāṇa. Most of these extracts describe the sanctity and antiquity of the hills around Thirumala and the numerous thīrthams situated on them.
  • The legends taken from the Venkaṭāchala Māhāthmya and the Varāha Purāṇa, pertaining to the manifestation of the Lord at Thirumala, are of particular interest.
  • According to the Varāha Purāṇa, Ādhi Varāha manifested Himself on the western bank of the Swāmi Puṣhkariṇi, while Viṣhṇu in the form of Venkateśwara came to reside on the southern bank of the Swami Puṣhkariṇi.
  • Śhrī Tallapaka Annamāchārya (or Annamayya) (May 9, 1408 – February 23, 1503) was the official song master of the Thirumala Venkateśhwara Temple, and a Telugu composer who composed around 36000 kīrthana songs, many of which were in praise of Venkateśhwara, the presiding deity of the temple. The musical form of the kīrthana songs that he composed have strongly influenced the structure of Carnātic music compositions, which are still popular among Carnātic music concert artists.
  • Kākarla Thyāgabrahmam (May 4, 1767–January 6, 1847), colloquially known as Thyāgarāja, composed thousands of devotional compositions, most of them in praise of Lord Rhāma — most of which remain very popular even today. Of special mention are five of his compositions called the Pancharathna Kruthis (English: 'five gems'), which are often sung in programs in his honor.


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